Rebecca Gibney and P.J. Hogan Talk Mental Inspiration, Toni Collette, and Working With Kids
A few weeks ago, media and special guests were invited to a Sydney preview screening of the new Australian film Mental. P.J. Hogan, who wrote and directed the dark comedy, was on hand to introduce the picture, asking the audience to watch with an “open mind.” Following the screening, P.J. and stars Rebecca Gibney, Deborah Mailman and Sam Clark stayed back for a Q&A session, where P.J. revealed most of the film was based on his experiences growing up, and that central character Shaz, portrayed by Toni Collette, was/is a real person. (Anthony LaPaglia and Liev Schreiber also star.) A few days later I sat down with P.J. and Rebecca for a cosy chat to find out more about the film, including what it was like for P.J. to reunite with Toni, his Muriel’s Wedding leading lady, how Rebecca felt about gaining weight for her role, and how they struck a balance between comedy and darkness. Click through for their responses!